Shade Balance/Rework

What I would like to accomplish:

I want a challenging and balanced game. Therefore everything here will be written with my sense for an interesting and challenging difficulty in mind where monsters only fall to one player if he’s using everything he can get build and skill wise where Patrols are dangerous and CWs are at least a bit scary.


First keep in mind that for this to be fair, balanced and fun other monster melting combos would be reduced too.

What you currently can accomplish as shade: (reliable)
Daggers/S&D ult dmg: 427.5
2x 20% crit power (~14% dmg each)
1x 10% monster dmg
Hekrati’s Bounty (15%)
Barrage (25%)
Shrapnel (20%)

Every Separate modifier is multiplicative but all build bonuses are added together first.
This isn’t (exactly) how the game calculates it but the result is the same.

427.5 * (1+ 2 * 0.14 + 0.1) * 1.15 * 1.25 * 1.2 = 1016

Using this combo with a strenght potion will kill a boss in one hit
Using a potion of concentration will allow you to kill multiple monsters with it.
Spinemangler will be mangled in no time, Burble Blob tends to not let himself be caught, the cheat doesn’t give much of a damn and Rasknitt instantly heals dmg exceeding a certain limit but you will get those 10-20k at the end for sure.

The nerfhammer will hit hard here.

So in my imaginary higher difficulty and balanced world I would like for her to be able to kill one monster but only if she uses at least ~75% of all possible options. This includes the amount of ults a concentration potion gives and the extended duration. The backstab changes (my 2nd proposal) would take away another 30% so it isn’t op again with the +50% backstab dmg.

There is quite the gap between no investment and the top. I don’t think this is a good thing (to this extent).
I would suggest to change the shades ult bonus from a crit multiplier to common dmg to eliminate the 28% (28 * 1.15 * 1.25 * 1.2 = 48%).
Because Barrage and Shrapnel require skill and management. I think they are actually fun and quite deserved bonuses but everybody can equip an overpowered build so I will always cut there first.
The property of crit power is already very niche and it’s removal or overhaul wouldn’t really hurt IMHO.

I would like shades to emphasize the sneaky play style more.

Change the shades backstab bonus dmg to apply to her ult’s dmg but reduce her general ult dmg (-30% for balance)

Chaos warriors should not fall to frontal ults on most weapons but every weapon will down them in one hit if it is a backstab or headshot.


Many people already try to backstab monsters but you currently don’t really get any reward for it. I think this would be a good thing as it would bring a lot of skill into the game play and make the lvl 15 row quite interesting between 25% more dmg, easier/reliable backstabs (weakest) and ammo.

The CW thing must be viewed with a bit of an understanding for the difficulty that I imagine where really nobody just pwns the CW in 1-3s without an ult. I personally think if they were even tankier so you usually clear everything else first would make them quite nice. I can understand if people don’t like this and don’t think that it would be a thing on any lower difficulty.

Feel free to argue and put forth your suggestion. I only really want the ends the means are of no concern to me!

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I don’t think any class should be able to oneshot a boss, regardless of how hard they buff themselves up.

After posting in the other shade rework thread, I’m wondering if a backstab mechanic is a good fit for this game. The opportunities to backstab without putting yourself at major risk are so few, the penalty for messing up so big and the payoff for succeeding so small that a standard front-on attack is almost always the better choice.

Individual enemies and small groups die immediately because the whole team caves in on them, so there’s not really any gains to be had by backstabbing there, and larger groups don’t really give you any safe opportunities to go for backstabs. In most runs it’s something that just happens sometimes, usually as a byproduct of normal dodging, rather than being something that you actively try to do.

Just throwing a half-formed idea out there: What if, instead of the angle of attack being what gives shade her damage bonus, it was enemy focus? Instead of a damage bonus for hitting enemies from behind, she got a bonus for hitting enemies that aren’t aggro’d on her.

Another thought: The huge damage potential from the non-ult backstab would be much more attractive, even when considering the risks, if it wasn’t so easy for any hero in the game to do big damage in a front-on fight.


I tend to agree here but…

Now if you read my entire proposal you will notice that I generally argued that only a hero using almost the entirety of his tool set available will be able to finish off a monster alone. (in a small time frame)
A Shade that doesn’t backstab a boss won’t profit from an 50% dmg bonus and won’t be able to kill it but damage it very considerably.
So would this be a fair reward for someone with the skill to do this. I think this would make it a quite powerful risque/reward scenario.

Are and probably never will be worth backstabbing at least not really for the 50% bonus. The crit kill on the other hand can be used to reliably kill elites but only worth it on certain weapons against shieldvermin.

I think the shade could use a passive ability to drop aggro or go invis like HM for 1-2s. It could probably work like BH crit also with a 10s cooldown but activated on “weapon special” but it could also just be a passive that massively reduces aggro so most enemies choose other targets. It has been noted many times that HM is kind of the better stealth career when it comes to non CW+ enemies and even there the Shade doesn’t really attempt anything sneaky (Somebody might have opened a thread because of this :upside_down_face:).

While I in general find your suggestion interesting, I think the overall “issue” with shade is basically her unmachted boss-deleting power. With this:

I don’t have a problem, simply because the whole “one-shotting a CW” isn’t THAT of an astonishing feat, anyhow. CW are not dangerous to anyone knowing the mechanics of the game, so the whole point is that Shade Keri should be capable of quickly dispatching CW that poses a threat because he is in a horde - and Shade becoming visible again in a horde (because she had to move behind the CW to guarantee the kill) is suicidal, mainly because you will get stuck in a rat or a fanatic and then you can’t move, no matter how skilled you are. I’d rather see the lvl 25 CDR-Talent go and replaced with something else (I would definitely like to see a movement speed option, though I’d like to merge that with the time extenstion. Maybe some kind of temp health thing, or a infiltrate kill granting you 2 seconds of invisibility).

Now, I COULD see it work if we’d the suggestion of granting her a passive ability. My suggestion would be that backstab kills grant her 3 seconds of invisibility like HM’s dash (which, without wanting to derail, should just be there to begin with, meaning she should always have that, but that’s another topic).

I too would like to see this whole “stealthy” mechanic be more fleshed out, but I fear we are just too far down a road where this wouldn’t make Shade more fun to play, simply more tedious. This game is so focused on offense and quick gameplay that it’s already a bit cumbersome to line up for backstabs via infiltrate (and the only reason to do that is for Bloodfletcher).

Also, the backstab angle is just very… unreliable, to say the least.

Again, I don’t think your idea is bad, not at all. But I do have some “mechanical” concerns about making a proper implementation of something that goes into that direction, that is all :slight_smile:

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Agreed that’s problem 1.

First any weapon would still be able to kill the CW on headshot exactly for this reason also weapons like the glaive that trade monster dmg for ap would likely keep the ability to kill a CW on frontal bodyshot to add a actual weapon choice with up and downsides.


I could see this work very well especially with a higher difficulty in mind but also with current legend (given boss dmg is finally nerfed) it might be a talent choice dough.

Yes and the prime offender here is temp hp as it rewards you for doing so and doing it quite carelessly. Note that it’s removal would make the game a lot harder as you still need to kill things to not get overwhelmed but you can’t be careless you can’t make it a kills competition anymore and you might want to deal with enemies in saver ways instead of accepting that you might get hit.
This doesn’t help to equalize the current weapon balance because the current weapons are not in balance and a mode like this will really show what is up to the task and what’s pretty much useless garbage.

Yeah this is pretty much impossible as FS will probably never really make this game really better or as challenging as V1, just more diverse.

I did read your post. My comment wondering about the backstab’s fit wasn’t a follow-on from by comment about oneshotting bosses, it was a separate train of thought.

Assuming we’re talking legend play, backstabbing a boss isn’t risky and doesn’t take skill. If it’s chasing you you’re either going to go stealth or play defensively, and if it’s chasing someone else you have repeated windows where you can just go nuts on it without risk.

Yes, that’s what I said. Backstabbing individuals is pointless and backstabbing in big packs is too dangerous to make the payoff worth the risk. That leaves boss killing, and most shades I see don’t even use backstabs on them. They just drink some purple potion and twoshot it with ults. This is why I’m questioning the use of the angle-based backstab.

On the topic of shade vs handmaiden, I think they’d both be in a better place if they switched the mechanics for breaking stealth. Handmaiden should de-stealth on attacking and shade shouldn’t, and shade’s stealth damage buff should be reduced to compensate. This would give shade some ult utility against elites in bigger packs and it would mean that she can still do big damage to bosses during her ult, but it wouldn’t be in one or two huge bursts that completely trivialise the fight.

I still say nobody should be able to oneshot a boss. Fighting bosses is fun. It shouldn’t all be over the instant the shade gets within melee range of it.

I disagree with most of this. Shades being able to melt bosses isn’t as easy as people make it out to be. You need dual weapons, which locks out most of the armoury. You need to max crit power, which is useless 95% of the time. You need to stack barrage, which means giving up another trait. And you need to have strength pot and shrapnel and preferably WHC ping or a similar effect. ONLY then can you one or two shot a boss.

This is not grounds for nerfing shade as a whole because only the top 1% of shade players can pull this off. The vast majority are merely average and lack the skills or equipment to complete the build, or like me they just don’t care about being a monster killer and just use whatever weapon they feel like at the time instead of only dual wield. Being able to solo a good chunk of the boss by yourself is almost mandatory for any kind of carry situation. You have to remember that bosses are basically godzilla to an average party, there’s a good chance it will kill them all and end their run with no reward, that’s not very fun.

Some of the other points you raise are valid though, my thoughs:

  1. Backstabbing needs more of an emphasis. The really good shades always attack bosses from the front because the headshot multiplier is higher than the backstab multiplier, but hitting the head requires extra skill so that seems fine to me. Most players don’t specifically try to backstab because there is no easily visible indication that you are being more effective while doing so. I think all you need to do here is add a visual indicator of backstabs taking place, like the hit marker on the crosshair that denotes hits and crits. Skilled shades should be striving to achieve the damage trifecta of crit/backstab/headshot at the same time and be rewarded for doing so.

  2. Dual weapons deal too much ult damage, and glaive and axe deal too little. Ult damage should be normalized somewhat so that dual weapons don’t ridiculously outperform 2h and 1h weapons. Originally they added these custom multipliers to encourage people to use different weapons, but all it did was create a new meta. I like the 1h axe but have been openly mocked for using it on shade because it’s perceived to be such a crap weapon by some players.

  3. Ult damage should be heavily reliant on backstabs and headshots. It’s silly that you can just run up to a CW and instantly kill him by poking his toe. The 1h axe is notorious for this because it can’t one-shot a CW unlike everything else. But you still can if you manage to hit them in the head which takes extra skill, all shade weapons should be like that IMO.

Depends what you mean by “melt”. If you mean oneshot or near-oneshot, then yeah, you need to invest to the point where you’re using a meme build. But, you can get a reliable 10 second kill on all of the non-scripted bosses except for the troll with relatively minor investments like concoction or decanter on a purple pot with dual daggers, and the troll only lasts longer because of the time it spends on the ground and those few seconds after it gets up when it’s invulnerable.

You’re right though, a big part of my beef with shade’s ult is because the dual weapons, daggers in particular, do way too much ult damage. I’d like to see the shade get some more emphasis on sneaky assassin-type gameplay to give the class some unique personality outside of deleting bosses with the ult.

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